Around this time of year, we start to think about New Year’s Resolutions. Often they are centered on health (I will eat better and work out more), lifestyle (I will spend more time with those that are important to me), spiritual (I will read the Bible in a year this year), and so on.
I usually tend to have a professional resolution, too, whether I call it that or not. As many of you know, my passion is Change Management, and my goal is to help solve our adoption issue. Much of our problem is centered on the fact that we (Corporate America) don’t understand Change Management and its importance. Last year (2017), my “soapbox” topic helping people understand the effect that OCM has on ROI. For 20% of your investment, you have the potential to achieve 75% of your target return. Take that to Vegas.
In 2018, I’m going with a similar theme – bringing more awareness to the importance of OCM. We have much ground to take. And this year, my goal will be to help clients and OCM practitioners alike understand how tangible OCM can, as has to, be.
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We often think of OCM as strictly conceptual. We don’t “make” anything, and we can’t “sell” our project deliverables on the open market at go-live. I’ve seen us run into the trap of creating deliverables for deliverables sake. Whether that is perception or reality, I’m not sure that it matters. That Stakeholder Assessment you did the first week of the project – what did you do with it in week 2 and beyond? Did you ever look at it again? How did you use it? Did it become a nice piece of wallpaper?
OCM done well is extremely tangible. If done well, that Stakeholder Analysis feeds directly into your Communication Plan, allowing you to target messaging and approach to meet the stakeholders where they are, individually and collectively. I often say the Communication Plan in the Change Management leader’s project plan. It guides and directs each of our communication artifacts – creation and delivery. Those communication artifacts are the very things that inform and prepare our users for pending changes.
A misstep in any of these steps will lead to a breakdown in the overall Change Management effort, leading to lower than optimal buy-in, adoption, and ROI.
I could go on about the tangibility of each and every OCM deliverable, and perhaps I will in a future post. Frankly, if we can’t defend its tangibility, we have to seriously consider why we are doing the work required for any given deliverable.
That’s my goal for 2018 – help people understand WHY we are doing what we do, and how tangible and important each deliverable is in the process. I believe that will help people understand Change Management better and ultimately, how what we are doing benefits the project and the returns we are seeking.
So what are your resolutions for 2018?